Principal Financial Group (PFG) Downgraded to “Sell” at UBS Group

UBS Group downgraded shares of Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) from a neutral rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, February 5th, www.firsttomarkets.com reports. UBS Group currently has $45.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock, down from their prior price objective of $46.00.

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. TheStreet upgraded shares of Principal Financial Group from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a research note on Monday, January 28th. Zacks Investment Research reissued a hold rating on shares of Principal Financial Group in a report on Wednesday, November 14th. Royal Bank of Canada downgraded shares of Principal Financial Group from an outperform rating to a sector perform rating and set a $49.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, December 11th. Goldman Sachs Group downgraded shares of Principal Financial Group from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $50.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, January 8th. Finally, Deutsche Bank began coverage on shares of Principal Financial Group in a report on Tuesday, October 16th. They issued a hold rating and a $61.00 price target on the stock. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Principal Financial Group presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $58.60.

NYSE:PFG traded down $0.69 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $51.40. 2,335,320 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,769,798. Principal Financial Group has a fifty-two week low of $40.42 and a fifty-two week high of $63.58.

Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, January 29th. The financial services provider reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.29 by ($0.18). The company had revenue of $3.88 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.66 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.19 EPS.

Principal Financial Group declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, November 27th that allows the company to buyback $500.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 29th. Shareholders of record on Monday, March 4th will be given a dividend of $0.54 per share. This represents a $2.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.20%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, March 1st.

In related news, EVP Julia M. Lawler sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.17, for a total value of $50,170.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Amy Christine Friedrich sold 900 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.00, for a total value of $44,100.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 2,900 shares of company stock worth $144,270 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in PFG. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its position in Principal Financial Group by 8.2% during the third quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 271,170 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $15,888,000 after buying an additional 20,557 shares during the period. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd increased its holdings in Principal Financial Group by 3.4% in the 3rd quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 96,902 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,677,000 after buying an additional 3,200 shares in the last quarter. Conning Inc. increased its holdings in Principal Financial Group by 10.1% in the 3rd quarter. Conning Inc. now owns 790,207 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $46,298,000 after buying an additional 72,347 shares in the last quarter. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC increased its holdings in Principal Financial Group by 4.8% in the 4th quarter. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC now owns 587,573 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $25,953,000 after buying an additional 27,010 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Iowa State Bank increased its holdings in Principal Financial Group by 2.2% in the 3rd quarter. Iowa State Bank now owns 92,714 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,432,000 after buying an additional 1,997 shares in the last quarter. 68.64% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Principal Financial Group

Principal Financial Group, Inc provides retirement, asset management, and insurance products and services to businesses, individuals, and institutional clients worldwide. The company operates through Retirement and Income Solutions, Principal Global Investors, Principal International, and U.S. Insurance Solutions segments.

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Analyst Recommendations for Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG)

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